Indonesia’s President has issued a new decree mandating standardised tech platforms across e-procurement, budgeting, human resources and identity.

“The direction is to integrate all the ICT capacity and also try to integrate the e-government services,” Imam Mahdi, Deputy Assistant of Policy Formulation and Coordination for the Implementation of Administrative Systems and e-Government, Ministry of Administrative and Bureaucratic Reform, told GovInsider.

The “powerful” decree requires government agencies to share and use the same e-services as part of a new national-level e-governance system. E-procurement and budgeting are among the first areas that will be standardised across government.

“We start from the e-planning, budgeting and procurement,” noted Mahdi. President Joko Widodo’s team now wants to integrate digital services for tenders and bids further down the line in the procurement process – up till the eventual implementation of these chosen projects. “E-procurement will be integrated with stuff from planning, budgeting, procuring and implementation of the procurements,” he said. The whole-of-government standardisation process will take two years, he adds.

Identity and human resources across the government will also be integrated onto a single platform. “So many institutions develop the same application, for example, the human resource system. It’s supposed to be only one system that can be utilised by everybody,” he said.

As part of the decree, all agencies must now appoint a Chief Information Officer (CIO) to coordinate the tech efforts within each agency, according to Mahdi. The CIO will collaborate with businesses, ministers, and other CIOs to ensure that e-government integration efforts are carried out nationally. The President has set up a national steering committee that will oversee the cross-agency standardisation of e-government services.

Meanwhile, the President’s Office has formed a national steering committee to oversee this integration of e-services. Its first task is to write up an e-government master plan for the next five years. “E-government is not a simple thing; we have to see the planning, budgeting, and also the nature of the data from the citizens,” Mahdi remarked. “At the national level, we should have one direction,” he added.

The Minister of Administrative and Bureaucratic Reform will chair the steering committee. Members of the committee include the Minister for Communication and Information Technology, Minister of National Planning, Minister of Finance, Minister of Home Affairs, and the heads of the National Cyber and Encryption Agency, and the Agency for Technology Assessment and Application.

The decree is the first step in creating a national-level e-governance system that seeks to solve one of Indonesia’s perennial problems in public service: inefficiency. “All public services are now already based on electronic platforms. However, we can still push the efficiency more,” Mahdi said.

Indonesia is not new to e-procurement services, having first created a national e-procurement system called INAPROC back in 2008. Since its inception, almost all regencies and major cities like Sampang and Surabaya have adopted e-procurement services to collect tenders and bids for government projects.

However, government agencies often work in silos and duplicate the same services. Currently, agencies use only 30% of the IT capacity in government, which means the remaining 70% in capacity are not used, Mahdi said. “That’s been a problem,” he admitted.

The integration of e-government services will allow citizens to use public services more seamlessly, noted Agung Hikmat, Advisor at the Executive Office of The President. For instance, Indonesia currently has a website where businesses can apply for permits. The President will extend the types of permits available on the website, so citizens can apply for a range of permits that they need. “This decree should be more powerful, with more permits integrated into this one,” Hikmat told GovInsider.

Beyond the government, the President’s Office is looking to work with the private sector to develop its e-government plans, Mahdi said. “Especially for the ICT industry, we should collaborate more on the implementation,” he noted. “What we want to do is we profile our needs and then the industry should confirm our needs.”

Image from President Joko Widodo’s Facebook pageCC BY 2.0